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10 things to do with a whole pastured chicken

1) Put in the crock-pot or slow cooker for at least 8 hours - long, slow cooking is crucial for best flavor and texture.  You don't even have to defrost it first, as long as it fits in the pan!  Cover with the sauce of your choice before turning on the slow cooker.  My two favorites:

  • Thai Yellow or Red Curry simmer sauce from Trader Joe's
  • A healthy chunk of butter and a whole sliced onion

Or. you can use the same recipe, but put the bird in the oven.  Roast at 300 degrees for at least 2 hours.  Put the butter in the cavity and roast breast-side down for the juiciest white meat.  

Once you've eaten your fill of roast chicken, separate the carcass into two piles - the skin, bones, cartiladge, and pan juices; and then the rest of the meat picked off the bones in a separate container.

2) Shred the remaining meat with a fork.  Add barbeque sauce for pulled chicken sandwiches.

3) Shred for enchiladas.

4) Chop for chicken pot pie.

5) Mince for chicken salad.

6) Chunk for soup.

Etc, etc, etc

Now, put the bones, skin, and pan juices back into the crock pot.  Fill with water and set on low.  Allow to steep for 18-36 hours, adding water as needed.  The smaller bones will be soft and crumbly, and lots of vitamins and minerals will be in the broth.  Strain out the solids, add salt to taste, and either freeze, pressure can, or prepare for soup.  

7) Use the broth as an electrolyte replacer (essential for athletes or those on low-carb diets) and drink a cup with each meal.

8) Use as a base for all kinds of soup.

9) Use in vegetable purees, like mashed potatoes or butternut squash.  

10) Use to cook rice instead of water.